Here is our (belated) end of year update as far was what Community Power accomplished in 2023 and our goals we are looking forward to pursuing in 2024. We are so grateful for anyone who has donated to or otherwise supported Community Power’s energy democracy work alongside partners locally, regionally, and nationwide. Your contribution, as always, is tax-deductible. This year, we are gearing up for more some unprecedented actions with the same mission to build clean, local, equitable, affordable, and reliable energy future here in Minnesota and to create ripples beyond.
Continuing our candidate education, written energy questionnaires and nonpartisan public forums for the 2023 Minneapolis city council elections, as we have done in every local election year starting in 2013. Community Power and Partners hosted 3 candidate forums and co-hosted 4 League of Women Voters forums where we asked those running to represent us to share their visions and perspectives how to meet Minneapolis’ local clean energy and climate goals in ways that also benefit key priorities of the city such as housing affordability, renter’s rights, economic, racial & environmental justice, and workforce development for clean energy jobs. Community Power held meetings with 2 dozen candidates where we shared our stories and the history of local energy democracy issues. See our compilation of this work.
- Completion of hiring our first ever Co-Directors- Board and staff excitedly welcomed Leticia Jones to the team this past year as one of two (first ever in our history!) internal Co-Directors as a model of shared leadership and to better resource and strengthen our work. Until now, Community Power has been working with a smart and scrappy staff of volunteer board members and three staff. Leticia joins us with over 20 years experience in finance & organizational management. We're looking forward to completing this pair by adding an external Co-Director. See the posting here!
- Co-developing a community-centered "Navigator" program for Energy Efficiency - This may be our biggest coordinated effort since our 2013 Minneapolis Energy Options campaign. The Navigator program emerged as a priority among our years-long "Peer Learning Energy Efficiency Cohort" partners. This program experiments with building a network of local, trusted people who can help communities navigate the vast and complex energy upgrade programs to find what fits their needs. We're hiring a Program Development Manager who will lead partners through design, launch, implementation, evaluation, and expansion of this program.
- Releasing dynamic popular education on the People's Climate and Equity Fund working in collaboration with multiple local coalition partners and visual artists. This work will bring life and describe the polluter-pays mechanisms that would finally fund (at-scale!) the climate "plans" that have been on the books for years but without meaningful resources to implement them. A Whitepaper, Fact Sheet, and popular education Zine will drop this Winter & Spring! Watch out for these in our monthly newsletter.
- More cooperatively-owned, affordable local solar (in Midtown Minneapolis!) This work will include: beginning a second round of direct-metered, cooperatively-owned rooftop arrays sited at Affordable Housing units in partnership with Cooperative Energy Futures and Beacon Interfaith; and outreach to low and moderate income households in the Midtown area for the cooperatively-owned community solar going up on Abbott Northwestern hospital's parking ramp. Learn more and sign up:
- Advancing Inclusive Financing programs for Energy Efficiency: After a major 2022 crescendo at the state-level showed that gas utility CenterPoint preferred to dig in on fossil-gas and shareholder rewards in place of partnership with Minneapolis residents, our coalition has pivoted to a new strategy to pursue our multiyear effort to get utilities to offer Inclusive Financing or "Inclusive Utility Investment" (IUI), the new popular term. Stay tuned for an announcement soon!